If inadequate parking facility and public transport system prompted you to cancel plans of watching IPL cricket matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium last year, here is something that will make you happy.
Two of the busiest sports facilities in the Capital — the Feroz Shah Kotla and Ambedkar stadiums — are all set to come under the Metro network for the first time.
Two stations on the under-construction Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate line will cater to these stadiums. The construction of the corridor has started and is likely to become operational in two to three years.
“Both ITO and Delhi Gate stations will have entry and exit points within 300-metre radius of the stadiums, making it easier for spectators to reach the venues without any major hassle,” said Anuj Dayal, spokesperson of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Feroz Shah Kotla is the main cricket stadium of the city and can accommodate over 40,000 spectators. It hosts international-level one day, T20 and test matches on a regular basis. During these events, the stadium is generally packed to capacity. It also hosts at least seven to eight IPL matches every year.
Ambedkar Stadium is the main football facility in Delhi and has hosted international fixtures like the Nehru Cup Football Tournament and World Cup Qualifiers.
It also hosts domestic football tournaments like the I-League, Durand Cup. The stadium, with a capacity of around 20,000, has been revamped recently, so that it can host more international matches.
However, both the venues suffer from inadequate parking space. The nearby areas of ITO, Darya Ganj and Delhi Gate are traditional business hubs, where most parking lots are jam-packed even on non-match days, making it difficult for car users to park their vehicles.
Besides, the venues are not well-connected with buses. Pragati Maidan is the nearest Metro station and is at least 3km far from the stadiums.
“It would be a huge relief to manage traffic when the venues would be connected by the Metro. Then, organising matches in the stadiums would be possible without disturbing the normal traffic and with a few restrictions or diversions,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).